PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania State Police are warning about the possible return of “creepy clown” sightings.

Police issued a community awareness bulletin as the Stephen King movie “IT” nears its theatrical release next month.

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“With the fall of 2017 upon us, it is anticipated that similar ‘creepy clown’ sightings could be reported starting as soon as September, in part due to the fact that the movie ‘It’ will be released in theaters on 9/8/2017,” the bulletin reads. “The movie, which is adapted from a Stephen King novel by the same name, portrays an evil demon who takes on the shape of a clown named Pennywise, ‘that stalks kids from within the sewers and killing them when they least expect it.’”

Sightings were reported in 16 states last year, including Pennsylvania.

“The creepy clown craze in September 2016 resulted in at least a dozen people arrested in Georgia, Alabama, and Virginia for either taking part in the menacing stunt or for making false reports.”

Police added that “creepy clown” sightings are not new, as several were reported nationwide in the 1980s.

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This bulletin comes as the World Clown Association braces for a wave of backlash due to the upcoming release of “IT.”

The association’s president says some members have lost work or even had the police called on them.

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